Monday, 16 September 2013

Siena's Stratocaster - Test Fit Build

It's always a good idea, hence this is the first time I have actually done it, to do a test fit build of your guitar kit before you start the finishing process. Today I fitted and screwed the neck, checked the scale length (using the oh-so-useful  Stewmac Fret Scale Calculator) and got the bridge set and attached on Siena's strat.

It's always nerve-wracking getting a bridge placed. I worry constantly that the bloody thing isn't going to intonate, or that the strings aren't going to be straight on the neck. The Stewmac calculator really provides the confidence to just get on with it. Once I located where the pivot point of the bridge should be (based on the scale length), I strung the two E strings up to make sure the bridge was centred on the fret board. Once I was happy, the bridge pivot screws went straight in - job done.

I also drilled and fitted all the mounting screws, including the scratchplate, output jack and tuners. One thing you should be wary of if you are doing this yourself is that, if you are using water-based dyes, then you should avoid drilling all the small screw holes (eg for the pickups, tuners etc) because water can get into the holes and swell the wood. For these you will have to wait until the clear goes on.

For an oil based finish (like the Wudtone I'm going to be putting on here), it's safe to drill and fit all the small screw holes early-on and minimise the possibility of screwing (yuk yuk) the finish later.